There are 3 types of money managing styles that couples use. I have seen couples have struggles in all 3 types. Let’s explore the issues related to each one.
1. Traditional/Conservative: In this model, the male (or male energy partner makes the big decisions around money. It’s not that they don’t take advice from their partner but
when the rubber hits the road, the male will make the final decision. I am also not talking about what type of milk to buy – these are questions about investments, and major life/job decisions.
As generation after generation of women have entered the work place, this model seems to be dying out. There are times over the course of a relationship when these traditional roles are re-established, for example when a woman decides to become a stay-at-home-mother. The problem that arises from this model is that it feels very disempowering to the one left out of the decision making. He/she feels a lack of control over their lives. The major breadwinner might exert power over the other person simply because they feel that since they earned the money, they should be able to do what they please with it. This dynamic rarely works and tapping along with some clear communication can bring back a sense of balance and equality in the relationship. In the case of a stay at home mother I always recommend that the husband pay her an equitable salary for her duties as cook, nurse, cab driver, nanny, etc. The mom can then make decisions on her own about her finances and feel much more secure and appreciated.
2. Modern: This is the model I see most often in my own generation and younger. Both people share in the decision making and collectively make choices about spending and saving. This works well and should be the goal of most couples. The problem arises when one makes more than the other and that partner feels they should have the majority of the say. Also, time is a factor since both parties must commit a certain amount of time to discussing finances at least every few weeks. Power struggles can still come up and this is when EFT is most helpful
3. Autonomous: This is the model I see couples using in second marriages or when signifant assests existed prior to their union. Here both parties run their finances completely or mostly independent of one another. The biggest struggle here is that many times one partner will feel that they don’t feel trusted by the other person. This is especially true for prenuptual aggreements. My best advice is to tap on feelings of fear regarding entering into this relationship and root out the underlying trust issues. When one person makes a significant amount of money or has brought a family business or inheritance into the relationship, then it is not unreasonable for discussions and agreements to be made in advance of marriage. I have never seen such an arrangement with someone of great fame for example where the other person didn’t have to give up certain aspects of his/her old life and that is also worth something monetarily speaking.
Communication, trust, and resolving past issues of betrayal/conflict around money are paramount in creating a mutually beneficial financial partnership with your significant other.